Comparing the costs of international school education in Asia

Comparing the costs of international school education in Asia

Comparing the costs of international school education in Asia

Relocating overseas with your family brings another dimension to the expatriate process, as an affordable quality education is essential but becoming hard to find, even in Asia.

International schools are the first choice for the vast majority of expat parents, but they’re traditionally expensive and determining between the best and the rest can be tricky when you’ve only just arrived. The dilemma isn’t just financial as reassignment packages normally include school fees, it’s also the all-important aspect of which school is the right fit for your kids.

In Asia, the demand for international schooling is as high as ever, especially in Southeast Asian countries, with new international schools opening every year and increasing the choice for parents. A recently released report from International Schools Database, (ISD), shows the most expensive international schools in the region are located in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing and all have excellent reputations for their curriculums.

At the other end of the scale is the Thai island of Phuket, now home to no less than 12 international schools at the cheapest end of the market. Out of 19 world cities in the report, Phuket scored 17th, with fees ranging between US$1,840 per year to US$ 20,397, although details about the quality of education provided aren’t given. Another issue with Phuket is that expat parents are unlikely to be based on the island, and its tourist trade makes its general environment somewhat risky for young people.

Kuala Lumpur’s international school offerings now have an expanded market since the government allowed local students the right of entry, thus leading to a boom in the number of international educational facilities. As there’s a great deal of competition, it’s possible for parents to find an affordable school with a good reputation. Fees start at around US$2,446 and soar to US$22,273 and there are 79 schools to choose between.

For those looking for a good education at a very reasonable price, Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh is the place to start. It’s the cheapest in the survey, with the lowest annual charges at US$1.840 and the most expensive at US$19,941. Cambodia is a developing country being propped up by construction of part of China’s belt and road initiative, and is still attractive as an expat destination, even although the increasing Chinese presence is being seen as a downside by expat professionals and long-term retirees.

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